Statement by Mr.Fazlı Çorman, Charge d'Affaires, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Turkey to the United Nations 64th General Assembly Agenda Item: Joint Debate on the Report of the Peacebuilding Commission and the Report of the Secretary General on the Peacebuilding Fund

Fazlı Çorman 20.11.2009
Mr. President,

Allow me first to express our gratitude for your able leadership in guiding our discussions on issues related to the international peace and security, one of which is the basis of our deliberations today.

We have examined the report of the Peacebuilding Commission and the report of the Secretary General on Peacebuilding Fund; the two main instruments which were set up by this Assembly in concurrent with the call of the Security Council, to respond to the challenges and complexities of post-conflict situations, and we noted with interest the conclusions and the recommendations therein.

Since the adoption of the Resolution 60/180 in December 2005 at this Assembly that established the Peacebuilding Commission, we have noted with pleasure that the Commission has consolidated its core advisory role and demonstrated increasing support for the post-conflict countries on its agenda via helping to channel resources to critical peacebuilding priorities, as well as through the support given to strengthening of national capacities. It might be briefly stated that though it is a relatively new instrument, it played an essential role in the promotion of the goals inherent in its mandate.

On the other hand, the Peacebuilding Fund, as the largest Multi Donor Trust Fund under the administration of the United Nations with forty-seven donor countries contributing to its work with an amount of over 310 million USD pledges, continue to stand as an indispensable instrument for ensuring the immediate release of resources needed to launch peacebuilding activities and for the provision of appropriate financing for recovery, despite the financial constraints it faces.

In this respect, it would not be wrong to define the progress achieved during the past four years of the Commission's and the Fund's operations as positive and promising. Yet, the increased complexity of the post-conflict reconstruction process, the evolving approaches to critical peacebuilding priorities and the need to adapt to prevailing global realities call for a continuous review of these two instruments and reevaluation of their way of operation on the basis of the lessons-learned.

With this in mind, we are pleased to see that the Commission has already engaged in a process of discussions on how to better improve its work, maximize its impact and mobilize sustained international attention. We are also pleased that the new terms of reference are in place for the Peacebuilding Fund. We believe that these ongoing processes will be further advanced with the envisaged review in 2010 of the Commission's founding resolutions and we look forward to the recommendations on how its role can continue to be enhanced.

Mr. President,

Peacebuilding, though embedded in the principle of national ownership, is mainly a collective effort, undertaken by many actors and comprises many aspects of peace efforts; namely conflict prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping, humanitarian aid and development assistance. Indeed, as often mentioned, the challenge is as much about winning peace as stopping the war.

From supporting political processes and reconciliation to creating safety and security; from enshrining the rule of law to the provision of basic services, like water, health and education and to the revitalization of economies destroyed from war, there are many challenging areas in which the responses should be as multifaceted as the problems itself. Nevertheless, the success of these responses depends on the manner they are applied, since such a broad agenda inevitably requires a coherent, coordinated and an integrated effort from the international community. It is of no doubt that for the success of a peacebuilding project, various actors of the international community should act in unison with a view to empower the post-conflict country and its citizens both to start rebuilding the structures of their state and to start rebuilding their lives.

Undoubtedly the United Nations has a significant role to play in this regard and as such the Peacebuilding Commission, as the institutional linchpin of the UN's peacebuilding architecture, together with the two other pillars; the Peacebuilding Fund and the Peacebuilding Support Office.

The efficient functioning of UN's peacebulding architecture rests on the ability of it to "deliver as one" the common vision based upon an agreed strategy that is well-supported by the financial resources and the technical expertise and matches the needs of the country. With this belief, we agree with the five-point agenda set out by the Secretary General to facilitate an earlier and more coherent response from the UN and the wider international community, which reflects these core elements.

Mr. President,

I would like to underline a few points which we deem as important elements to be taken into consideration during the 2010 review of the work of the Peacebuilding Commission.

Firstly, we believe that with a view to strengthen the national ownership of the peacebuilding process, priority should be given to the issue of building national institutions. In this framework, the focus should be upon the identification and the reinforcement of existing local capacities, and on the transfer of the expertise rather than dependence to it. To this end, in collaboration with the national authorities and the international agents, a system ought to be build for deploying "blue suits" and not only "blue helmets" .

Secondly, the transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding stands as an area that deserves increased attention. As it was also pointed out in the thematic debate held under Turkey's Presidency of the Security Council on June 2009, peacekeeping and the peacebuilding are integral parts of a whole and success can come only if we treat them as such. The first two years after the end of a conflict is the most critical period where we can sow the seeds of a lasting peace. Actually, early peacebuilding policy development which would cover early peacekeeping tasks that could help peacebuilding efforts is set as a priority item within the New Horizon study as well.

Thirdly, gender perspective should be an inseperable element for the work of the Commission. The existing mandate of the PBC entrusts the Commission to integrate a gender perspective into all its work. The important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and the need for women's full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, as well as in decision-making processes should be stressed more within the work of the Commission.

Fourthly, harmonization of policies and procedures, "delivering as one" should be reinforced. As Member States we should encourage the UN entities to implement system-wide coherence in post-conflict settings. In this regard, the capacity of the Peacebuilding Support Office should be strengthened in order to make it an integral to UN's efforts to promote a more integrated and strategic response in post conflict countries.

Last but not least, we believe that the financing mechanism in support of peacebuilding efforts should be made more predictable, sustainable, transparent, accountable and flexible. We should explore creative ways to provide budget support in post-conflict settings on the basis of the needs of the country in question and look for ways to maximize the Peacebuilding Fund's impact, including by setting up new partnerships or extending the existing ones. Turkey stands fully behind its commitments to this Fund and makes its contributions to it without any caveat. The Fund has the potential to fill a unique peacebuilding niche in the post-conflict arena and we hope that the revised terms of reference would allow the Fund to improve its efficiency, responsiveness and effectiveness in order to ensure that post-conflict countries benefited from the sustained attention and support of the international community.

Mr. President,

The momentum the Commission has gathered in terms of advancing the peacebuilding agenda within the UN and its success in promoting a convergence of views among the Member States constitutes its most important added-value. We believe that the upcoming mandate review that will be drawn upon the lessons-learned of previous years would be useful in charting the course for the future work of the Commission.

Turkey is ready to share with the members of the Commission and the Secretariat, the vast experiences it gained through its active involvement in and support to the recovery efforts of various post-conflict countries from Balkans to the Middle East and from Afghanistan to Africa. We are committed to continue our support to the enhancement of the UN's peacebuilding efforts in every possible way.

Thank you, Mr. President.